A public service will be held and broadcast live later Friday afternoon, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The queue outside the stadium ahead of the public funeral numbered a few hundred – as Australians from all over flocked to the event.
Queensland cricket officials thought they would struggle to fill the stand, being a school and work day, but it was clear from the moment the doors opened that filling the stands would not be a problem.
A fan said he was in Townsville and thought he would go to the service.
“I’ve always loved cricket, and I watched Roy, and I happened to be in town,” he said.
“I didn’t go to Shane Warne’s funeral.”
One woman brought a large bouquet of flowers into the room, while others wore Queensland cricket t-shirts or green and gold jerseys.
Fans sat in the middle of the stadium as loved ones watched from the vigil – which took place above the stand.
The service kicked off with a video showing stills from Symonds’ childhood and the work of his greatest cricketing moments, which was when he leveled a streaker on the pitch.
It was a favorite among the Friday afternoon crowd.
Instead of putting on a sad event, the organizers made an effort to keep the mood upbeat. Aside from the cricketing moments, videos and photos of Symonds fishing in Townsville were shown to hundreds of fans.
“Applause is good,” Ian Healy told the crowd at the end of the film.
“Today’s celebration follows a beautiful service this morning where everyone in attendance tied Roy in incredibly well.”
“To Barb, Laura, Louise, Nick, Chloe and Billy, we thank you for allowing us to be together. None of us were sure if Roy would like it or not – he rated the pomp or the ceremony, but when he rated something, he rated it fiercely.
Healy said watching Symonds master cricket and his work in the broadcast box made him “incredibly proud”.
Greg Rowell was the only man in the suit and said he wasn’t sure whether to wear it because “Roy didn’t like suits”.
“Roy would find it funny that I was the only one here in costume,” he told the audience.
He told the crowd that one moment Symonds, Matthew Mott and another friend were on a boat near Morton’s Island when it broke down – forced to swim an hour to shore in waters infested with sharks and crocodiles.
“Roy and Matt swam ahead but the other guy was struggling so they had to go back and help him.
“Matt said he worried about the other guy, but never worried about Roy” because of his strength and perseverance.
Rowell said what started out as a fun situation could have ended in tragedy, but Symonds made sure that wasn’t the case – they made it back to shore safe and sound.
When Symonds was given the opportunity to play for England, “he didn’t turn his back on Australia”.
The audience was silent during his performance – even those seated 100 yards away in the stands.
Daren Lehman, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist remember Symonds during a panel with Ian Healy.
Lehman said: “Roy was tough to coach, but he was the best because he put so much into it. Coaching him was a pleasure.
Gilchrist was 19 when he first met Symonds, who was only 16.
“He was already in everyone’s sights at the time.”
Ponting traveled from India to Townsville for the memorial and spoke of the loss of three cricketing greats in a matter of weeks.